The Mother of Dragons had a major about-face on the penultimate episode of Season 8, and the internet was positively riddled with mixed reactions to the carnage that went down. Now, one of the show's directors and creators have spoken up about what was going through Dany's head moments before she walked the path of the Mad Queen.
Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8.
As a reminder, after Dany's army proudly marched into King's Landing and promptly made a mess of things, the Lannister army surrendered almost immediately. They knew they had no chance of winning this battle, ringing out the bells to signify their intentions. That wasn't enough for Dany or Grey Worm, as both decided they were going to begin slaughtering just about everyone in the area, including innocent people.
It was a moment where it appeared Dany had gone off the deep end like Aerys Targaryen, the Mad King before her, and the entire scene had fans scratching their heads, as the character has been mostly a much more even-toned and rational decision-maker throughout the rest of the series.
In a new behind-the-scenes featurette, the episode's director Miguel Sapochnik discussed part of Dany's thought process during the whole thing.
"She feels empty," he says of her victory. "It wasn't what she thought it was. It's not enough."
"She knows she has won this war. It’s in that moment when she makes the decision to make this personal," D.B. Weiss, one of the show's creators, explained further.
"Ultimately, she is who she is, and that’s a Targaryen,” said creator David Benioff. “She has said repeatedly throughout the show, ‘I will take what is mine with fire and blood,’ and in this episode, she does it." Emilia Clarke herself was on board to chat about her character's divisive actions as well, noting that Dany had been feeling quite alone in the moment, making her triumph ultimately feel sort of hollow.
"Every single thing that’s led her to this point, and there she is, alone."
Ultimately, it's still quite a strange move, even with these motivations spelled out for Dany, especially as she's been spending much of her time in the series doing her best to avoid turning out like Aerys. But with the final episode teasing a possible ultimate victory for her, we'll have to see where this wild ride lands us.
Game of Thrones' final episode is set to air on Sunday, May 19.